Santa’s greatest cameos


Well this week is the week that a particular fat man will visit houses near you (maybe even your house, if you’ve been good this year) and deliver those delicious, delicious gifts!

Houses are not the only things that he visits, oh no, he is making a mint on his image rights for a very long time – in fact he is quickly becoming a video game trope – but we love his interactive cameos so much we have devised a list…and here it is! Enjoy!

6) Soviet Strike (PS1)

The ‘Strike’ games were very serious affairs that looked at the mechanics and motivations behind war. Surely in their ‘next gen’ title this would carry over and it did! However those crafty gits at EA managed to sneak in a Santa Claus cameo in the first level!

From where you start if you fly your copper down to the South-East corner of the map you’ll see Santa, his reindeer and the sleigh getting ready to deliver their gifts to the worlds good children! As a bonus if you can destroy the sleigh without killing Santa or any of his reindeer he’ll give you the gift of an extra life!

He’s always giving that Santa Claus – cheers lad!

5) Shenmue (Dreamcast)

shenmue santa

Buy, buy, buy – you son of a bitch please…I’m on commission!

Shenmue was creating to be a living, breathing world…and it was successful to an extent (the technology was only ‘so’ powerful after all. One thing that stands out today is the fact that when December rolls around (in real life) and Dobuita becomes a veritable winter wonderland, the streets will have festive lights, the shops will have trees and the music changes to more festive tones.

The closer you get to the 25th (on the Dreamcast internal clock) the more likely you are to meet THE Santa Claus! And he will have many a festive thing to say including “how about throwing your New Years party at the Bar Linda?” and “MJQ Jazz Bar offers a variety of cocktails” – that’s right Santa is an advertising guru! Like a 1980s version of Don Draper – without the cigarettes, scotch or cool attitude!

We know this is the real Santa for a number of reasons 1) his beard is real and 2) during the 80s Santa believing dropped by a massive 88% which led him into expanding his business into advertising small and obscure Japanese pubs and bars! Thankfully he got back on his feet thanks to Dudley Moore.

4) Sam and Max (PC)

SAM Santa

Ho ho ho? Am I here for your entertainment? Get me some jelly…NOW!

The world that Sam and Max inhabit is very different from our own – for a start detectives are different varieties of animal – so it is reasonable to assume that their version of Santa Claus would be very different too! You’d be right in that assumption fair reader!

One way that Santa is completely  different here is the fact that he hates kids! That’s right he HATES them! After rescuing him from his own personal hell (surrounded by children) he tells us that he took the job so that he’d only see kids once a year – makes sense.

He also loves jelly – so much that he has eaten demon infested jelly on at least two occasions!

Did we mention he knows how to use firearms? He does, he does indeed! “Ho Ho Ho – ya filthy animal, make my (Christmas) day…punk”.

3) World of Warcraft (PC)

WOW Santa

Don’t dare call me Santa Claus…the name is Greatfather WInter!

The worlds biggest game and time sink ever! And now with added Santa Claus (well newly added circa 2008) and the way Blizzard have integrated him into their game is notable in itself! They added him to  their lore in order explain his appearance and his behaviour. He is known as Greatfather Winter and he lives to bring joy and happiness for one week a year (conveniently around Christmas).

As he is a dwarfen legend you will find him in Ironforge where he will give you a number of missions; my favourite is the fetch quest in which you must procure milk and cookies for him! The best part of these missions? He is incredibly generous with the rewards – he will give you a disproportionate gold for what he asks you to do.

As I’ve already said, he loves to give does ol’ Santa Claus!

2) Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)

KH Santa

And they call me Santy Claws

One of my favourite Christmas movies is the ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ and here we have that version of Santa only in a video game – a match made in heaven and it is a great cameo from ol’ ‘Sandy Claws’!

He is basically a foil to progress the story who gets kidnapped by Oogie Boogie (again) and then gets his presents stolen by Dr Finkelstein. In saying all this he is hilarious and he captures everything that Santa should be kind, generous and gentle but with a streak of anger that says ‘don’t f**k with me’!

It’s his design that gets me every-time it’s a classic Santa fare but with those tiny hands and legs that look comical yet magical! You spend a lot of time with Santa in KH2 and you’ll even get an awesome Santa costume (in black) so you can bring festive whoop-ass to those battles!

Merry Christmas you monster bastards!

1) Toejam and Earl (MegaDrive/Genesis)

TJAE Santa

I’m walking in the aiiiiirrrrrr!

Toejam and Earl was an edgy game when it launched in 1991 however it captured the very essence of Christmas – giving presents. More importantly it also captured the raw excitement of receiving presents. Being a rogue-like presents were your power ups – upon seeing that freshly wrapped and bowed box sitting on the ground was exciting for even the most mature and cool SEGA fan! What could be inside? Is it the springs shoes? Hopefully!

Being a game that revolves around presents being awesome it is only fitting that the king of gifts would make an appearance and he does – looking like a Raymond Briggs creation (which is to say amazing)!

He is obviously doing reconnaissance for his good/naughty list because on first sight he is dressed in dungarees and minding his own business but carrying a load of pressies! If you are successful in sneaking up on him he will drop his cornucopia of gifts for you to collect and use at will! Fail however and he will fly off using his jet-pack giving you nothing but regret for Christmas.

Honourable Mentions

Some Santa’s in video games are awesome; alas they are not the real deal, sometimes they’re toys and others they are tramps who are wearing costumes that probably smell of piss and/or fecal matter. These Santa’s cannot make our list – but they can get wee mentions on the bottom 😀 here’s our two favourite runners-up!

Bully/Canem Canis Edit (PS2/Xbox 360)

B Santa

I may smell of piss but I can give you the gift of violence kid! If you have elastic bands for me!

Rudy is here because; quite simply, a shit Santa Claus! He is incredibly thin, his fake beard is literally hanging off his face, he smells of “piss and beer” and he is rude! He is here though because he is bloody hilarious and awesome even when all context is removed (like in this article for example)!

Toy Commander: Christmas Surprise (Dreamcast)

Santa Toy commander

Santa here is a toy! He is not the real Santa although he has an awesome jet-pack (homage to Toejam and Earl?) and he blows shit up in order to ensure that Christmas is a great day in the land of ‘Toy Commander’ – what a trooper, a paratrooper!

Have we included your favourite Santa Claus cameo?

Have we forgotten your favourite?

Let us know in the comments

Start the conversation and tell us your thoughts!


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